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Identifying Reticent Respondents: Assessing the Quality of Survey Data on Corruption and Values

Listed author(s):
  • Omar Azfar

    ()

    (IRIS Center, Department of Economics, University of Maryland)

  • Peter Murrell

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland)

Randomized response methods, which were designed to elicit candid answers to sensitive questions, have not succeeded in eliminating reticence in survey responses. We implement a methodology that effectively stands the randomized response technique on its head, using it to identify reticent respondents. In a sample of Romanian company officials, we identify a specific 10% of respondents as reticent with near certainty and estimate that roughly 40% of the whole sample were actually reticent. The identifiably reticent respondents admit to corruption interactions significantly less often than others do. They are also more likely to state that it is impermissible to break socially beneficial rules. We show that reticence is related to the respondent's age and the colonial heritage of the respondent's region. These results suggest some difficulties in making cross-country comparisons of corruption and of values using the types of survey data often employed in social science research and policy analysis.

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Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics in its series Electronic Working Papers with number 05-001.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Handle: RePEc:umd:umdeco:05-001
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742

Web page: http://www.econ.umd.edu/

Order Information: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742
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  1. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 843-877.
  2. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  3. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay & Massimo Mastruzzi, 2004. "Governance Matters III: Governance Indicators for 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(2), pages 253-287.
  5. Murrell, Peter, 2003. "Firms facing new institutions: transactional governance in Romania," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 695-714, December.
  6. repec:umd:umdeco:murrellromania1 is not listed on IDEAS
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